With the advent of warm weather, tick season is upon us again. In our area, tick bites can cause Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. If you find an engorged blacklegged (deer) tick on yourself or a family member, you can bring it to the Ridgefield Health Department at 66 Prospect Street to be tested. Drop the tick off in a plastic vial or ziplock bag. Test results are returned in 7-10 days; approximately one third of the ticks tested are usually positive for Lyme disease. If you get a positive result or display symptoms, it’s important to consult a health care provider. Early symptoms of Lyme disease include a red rash around the bite, muscle aches, fatigue and fever. Anaplasmosis and babesiosis cause similar symptoms although no rash. There are no vaccines for tick-borne diseases and you can suffer from these infections multiple times. To minimize your chances of a tick bite, the Ridgefield Health Department encourages people to follow the BLAST safety tips: Bathe or shower within 2 hours of outdoor activity; Look for ticks and rashes daily; Apply repellent to skin and clothing; Spray the yard; Treat pets with veterinarian recommended products. Effective repellents for humans contain 20-30% DEET to apply on skin or permethrin which is used to chemically treat clothing. As an extra precaution, throw outdoor clothing in a hot dryer for 10 minutes if dry, an hour if wet, to minimize ticks being carried indoors. For more information, check out the town health department website, Blastlyme.org and LymeConnection.org. A free program on Lyme disease prevention is being held at the Ridgefield Library on May 6 at 10:00am featuring Dr. Neeta Connally, an advisor to the BLAST prevention program and a WestConn biology professor. Register online through the Ridgefield Library.
Founded in 1914, RVNA is an accredited non-profit Medicare-certified home healthcare agency that also supports public health and safety, and promotes the highest quality of life. RVNA provides compassionate care to all individuals, whether young or old, through a continuum of care that encompasses health care at home and in the community. RVNA also provides home health aides and companionship through a non-medical subsidiary called HomeCare by RVNA and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy in its Rehab by RVNA facility at 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield.
To Contact RVNA
Call RVNA at 203-438-5555. Visit RVNA at www.ridgefieldvna.org.